Worst And Best Salad Bar Choices

Salads and soups may be the kindest offerings you can make to both your heart and waistline. Heart disease continues to be the primary killer of adults in the United States. But the good news is that healthful eating and regular exercise can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Treating yourself to lots of fruits and vegetables is one way to begin. And that’s why lots of us are bellying up to soup and salad bars. There 10 worst soup and salad bar choices according to Lisa Mosing, MS, RD, FADA.

1. A Kettle Full of Health
* Soups can feel wonderfully pampering and tasty. And according to an American research study published in The Journal of Nutrition, if you choose well they can offer a healthy path. Soup not only nourishes your body, it can also satisfy your appetite on a cold winter day.

2. It's Not Just Salad, It's an Art Form
Fresh salads brimming with vegetables are a tasty way to get vitamins, minerals and fiber. And many waist watchers have learned that enjoying a healthful salad before a meal can blunt their appetite.

3. Avoid Drowning in Liquid Fat
Unfortunately, many healthy salads are swimming in high-fat toppers, such as dressings, cheeses, meats, eggs, croutons, and olives.

- To minimize fat and calories, drizzle just one tablespoon or less of dressing on every two cups of greens.

- To make a salad a satisfying meal, add protein with a scattering of beans, tofu, toasted nuts, turkey breast, and reduced-fat cheeses.

- Enhance flavor by tossing in a few marinated artichokes, fresh fruit, olives, or dried fruit.

5 Best Salad Bar Choices
Per ½ cup serving, unless otherwise indicated.

1. Broccoli: 12 calories
Nutrients: vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, fiber, lutein and zeaxanthin (two antioxidants terrific for eye health), and sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound.

2. Carrots: 31 calories
Nutrients: vitamin A, fiber, beta-carotene.

3. Tofu: 94 calories
Nutrients: protein, isoflavones (the power-packed nutrients in soy), calcium, iron, manganese.

4. Tomatoes: 13 calories
Nutrients: vitamins A and C, lycopene, potassium.

5. Canned tuna in water, three ounces: 99 calories
Nutrients: protein, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin.

5 Worst Salad Bar Choices
Per two tablespoon serving.

1. Ranch dressing: 16 grams of fat

2. Bleu cheese dressing: 16 grams of fat

3. Thousand Island dressing: 18 grams of fat

4. French dressing: 20 grams of fat

5. Mayonnaise: 24 grams of fat